There’s more to Los Angeles than Disneyland and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find an eclectic city bursting with charm and creativity. We tapped the most knowledgeable locals we know, our Los Angeles Flytographers, for their favourite local haunts. Read on for their guide to L.A.


 

 

Flytographer Paige

EAT
Guisados tacos are definitely the most legit tacos outside of Mexico City. Amazing braised meat, homemade tortillas, and sweet and tangy hibiscus iced tea transport me straight back to Mexico City.

For something fancier, check out Perch, a French rooftop restaurant and bar, for gorgeous views and delicious eats. Check out their calendar because they often have live music.
 

SEE
Check out the Griffith Observatory at sunset for gorgeous city views, including the Hollywood sign, from the stunning architecture and grounds of the observatory. Also, admission is free to go inside and learn about all things celestial.
 

DO
Hike! Los Angeles isn’t just an urban playground. There are great hiking trails in and around the city.

Shop at Crossroads Trading Co. —the best thrift store you’ll ever find. They hand pick each item sold to them, so you don’t have to search through duds to find something you like. Plus, they have a designer section where you’ll find high quality clothing on the cheap. LA has such unique style that you’ll find a ton of high quality and one of a kind pieces here.


 

 

Flytographer Penny

EAT
Café Gratitude is vegan and full of positive vibes. I eat here multiple times a week (sometimes twice a day!). Happy hour is 4-6 pm. I like the whole bowl, the fries, all the juices, the kelp noodles and you have to get the I AM COOL shake.

Gjusta is a bakery, deli, and café that is reliably delicious and always hopping with a fun scene and mix of all the cool cats.

Head to Superba for the pancakes. Gotta get ’em – well done.
 

SEE
Walk the streets of Venice Beach and explore the canals and adorable neighbourhoods and art.

Check out the music scene in LA! There are so many venues and amazing music going on nightly.
 

DO
Explore all the beaches in Malibu and north of it — the drive up the coast is a must! While you’re there, eat at Malibu Farm Pier Cafe and watch the surfers ride the waves!

Hike Topanga Canyon and then refuel with local, organic food at the Topanga Table.


 

 

Flytographer Martina

EAT
Be sure to go to Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice for ice cream at Salt & Straw + cool shopping! Abbot Kinney’s monthly First Friday events bring dozens of food trucks to the strip.
 

SEE
The iconic Santa Monica Pier is a must see!
 

DO
Explore LA’s natural beauty with a hike at Runyon Canyon Park. The great city views are an added bonus.


 

 

Flytographer Bree

EAT

For amazing coffee, try Alfred CoffeePaper or Plastik Café, and Dinosaur CoffeeIntelligentsia has the BEST chai.

For donuts, Stan’s Donuts is a long-standing place (since 1965) perfect for breakfast or afternoon snack. Try Sidecar Doughnuts for fun flavours like bacon-topped and huckleberry.

Angel City Brewery is a fun place to hang out, taste beer, and play games. It pairs super well with Wurstküche right across the street — an amazing sausage place with a good beer selection, too.

Mexican food is a must while in LA. El Abajeno has the best pulled pork taquitos (they’re like delish pocket tacos) with onions and guacamole. Mercado, located in Santa Monica and Hollywood, is a bit higher-end. Go for the queso dip and tacos! Tito’s Tacos are super simple, but they’re great. Plus, you can expect a short wait in line.
 

SEE
The Petersen Auto Museum was recently completely renovated and is gorgeous inside. There are also great food trucks nearby for a post-museum snack.
 

DO
Picnic at the Getty. You can bring your own food and drinks and eat right on the grass overlooking the garden. Nice place to go right before sunset. Parking is free after 5 pm on Saturdays. Admission is always free.


 

 

Flytographer Dipan

EAT
My favourite for Mexican is Ortega 120, where you can tuck into a platter of lamb shank birria, pork belly with Mexican grits, or pan-seared red snapper. Vegetarian options are also available.

Get In-N-Out Burger for a true California staple.

For a chic, waterfront dining spot, head to R/10 Social House. Everything is made in-house, from pickles and cured meats to condiments and ice cream. Visit during their daily social hour and enjoy a classic cocktail paired with inspired small plates.

For a romantic dinner, there’s no better place than Old Tony’s, specializing in seafood and cocktails with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
 

SEE
For stellar views of Los Angeles, Griffith Observatory is the place to be. Be there before sunset to catch the Hollywood Sign and the city illuminate as dusk sets in.
 

DO
See where the stars work by going behind the scenes at Universal Studios. The VIP Experience gives you access to real working sets, includes breakfast and lunch in VIP dining areas, and gets you straight to the front of the line for all rides.

Bike along Redondo Beach to the El Segundo bike path, which has many great stops for food, beer, and entertainment.

 

See more: Los Angelestravel guide